Launched in early 2005, Zopa is a peer-to-peer online brokerage that couples British residents who want to lend with those who want to borrow. The company represents a new business model in the retail financial services industry, and since Zopa is not technically a bank and does not lend money itself, the capital requirements to run the business are relatively small. Compared to a traditional full service bank Zopa concentrates on only a few steps of the value chain. This case study provides an overview of the financial service industry, especially banks, in the UK in 2006 and how Zopa, a value innovator, has developed a unique position in the market through an innovative business model. Rich data especially on banking trends are given. Additional data on key players in the industry are supplied. This data will enable students to develop a good understanding of the elements of a value innovation and how technologies have the potential to shake up an established industry structure and its key players. A focus is on the concept of value innovation and sustainable competitive advantage. The case can also be used to address the topic of how incumbent firms should respond to innovative new business models.
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